Monday, April 28, 2014

A Skateboarding Birthday


My parents had some friends in town this weekend. Over a bowl of popcorn and some beers at our favorite pizza place, my mom stopped her conversation and said, "Devon, don't you think you have OCD?". 

A hard question to answer if you've never thought about it before, but I have. When I made sure my math tutor fully completed the circle in all the zeroes she wrote in my notebook so they wouldn't be broken; when I became consumed with gymnastics after the 1996 Summer Olympics; when I taped countless pictures from Buffy the Vampire Slayer all over my  bedroom wall and then took Taekwondo until I got my black belt; when I want to surf every day, I have thought about it. 

 "I think I'm outgrowing some of it, the older I get," I said.

Although, the reason my mom brought this up is because we had been in and out of skate shops the last two days shopping for my birthday. 

So, I must admit: I am becoming obsessed with skateboarding. 

But for positive reasons, I think. Because it's something new to learn; because it's an easy way to meet people; because it's something different Scott and I can do together; because it's hard and scary. 

I think my future response to this question will be, "Yes, but I try use my powers for good."  :)

It rained a little on my birthday and over the weekend. I've taken a new liking to rain, so I wasn't that concerned. We ate dinner at a Peruvian restaurant in town. Everyone appeased my requests to order things as we felt hungry for them, instead of all at once, and to eat slowly. It was nice.

On Saturday, Scott's sister Kristen and some friends stopped by after a night of camping in the rain. We revived an old tradition of having a every visitor sign a beat-up surfboard in the backyard and ate microwaved rice cakes with soy sauce and parmesan cheese, my favorite. 

That night, we skated the new park in Oceanside until we couldn't see anymore. 

On Sunday, the waves organized themselves and welcomed us to ride them. Dad, me, Scott, Kevin and Shaun all catching waves in polluted water. So far, everyone still seems happy and healthy. 
I hope you enjoyed your weekend too! 

16 comments:

  1. Happy Birthday! So we're both April babies and were obsessed with BTVS (I too had pictures taped everywhere)... love it!

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    1. Go Buffy (also an embarrassing necklace I once made ;) and happy birthday to you too!

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  2. "Yes but I try to use my powers for good"- the perfect response! Looks super fun in the pictures

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    1. Thanks Amber. I wish it didn't make my knees hurt so much though :)

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  3. Happy Birthday Devon! I hope you had a great Birthday. Sounds like it was perfect just doing the things you love.

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    1. Thank you Ross! It was nice of everyone to allow this weekend to include so many of the things I love

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  4. Sounds like you had a fantastic time. I'm a completer of zeroes and other obsessive things as well, so I understand where you're coming from. And I'm liking the rain more and more these days. Sorry to hear you have polluted water, things like that are so frustrating. CJ xx

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    1. Human habits and tendencies are so interesting. Hope you had a nice weekend CJ!

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  5. "Yes but I try to use my powers for good" great answer :) but on behalf of a friend who works with people with mental health issues, can I ask you to ask your mum to not call it OCD. My friend explained to me not too long ago that OCD isn't just becoming obsessed with things or needing things to be straight. It's fearing that if things aren't lined up straight that someone you love will be harmed as a direct result. It's a horrible disease that my friend feels is laughed off all to often. Sorry, I'll step off my soap box now :) I'm glad you had a great birthday xx

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    1. That is a very overwhelming thing to feel. Do you think there could be different intensities of OCD, though? Maybe some people feel that way about it and others have less noticeable, less invasive symptoms? Maybe. Maybe not. My mom actually felt really bad she said that to me afterwards, even though I wasn't bothered. I appreciate you standing up for your friend, Laura. That is a good thing to do. I have ADD and I know what it feels like when people overuse or misuse that diagnosis.

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  6. Well, Happy (Belated?) Birthday to you! I've always wanted to learn how to skateboard (and surf) but I'm just not coordinated enough. That and for the majority of my life (minus a year) I've lived in central Texas. LOL! The closest beach to me is over six hours away. Anyway, I hope you had a wonderful birthday!

    As for your obsessive tendencies, well, I think there are things everyone gets a bit obsessed about at some point or another. I have a thing about counting on my fingers when I get anxious or panicked. And I'm not a fan of things in odd numbers. All of my other "obsessive" habits are pretty subjective since they aren't ever consistent. I go through phases where I feel like everything has to be in it's correct place, my clothes hung in a certain way, or every tiny little detail has to be straightened. Then, it all goes away and I don't even care. My closet becomes a mess, my living room is a disaster zone(I have a four year old), and I'm perfectly content in it all. :)

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    1. Thank you for the birthday wish Raquel! I actually have a friend who calls herself clumsy, but she has been learning to surf lately and is doing great. Just a thought :)

      I think I know what you mean about the variability of the obsessive tendencies. I'm sure I do some of mine more when something is bothering me or making me anxious and then other times it all goes out the window. Thanks for sharing! It's always interesting how we are all so different and still so alike.

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  7. In case you're curious, yes there are varying degrees of severity, but there is a lower limit to the spectrum for a diagnosis. That is, the spectrum of diagnosis doesn't go from symptom level scale of 0-100, more like 75-100, with 1-74 involving anxiety, and maybe warranting an Anxiety Disorder diagnosis, but not warranting a diagnosis of OCD. Here are the criteria:

    Presence of obsessions, compulsions, or both (obsessions, defined by: "1. Recurrent and persistent thoughts, urges, or images that are experienced, at some time during the disturbance, as intrusive and unwanted, and that in most individuals caused marked anxiety or distress. 2. The individual attempts to ignore or suppress such thoughts, urges, or images, or to neutralize them with some other thought or action (i.e., by performing a compulsion.)." Compulsions are : "1. Repetitive behaviors (hand washing, ordering, checking) or mental acts (praying, counting, repeating words silently) that the individual feels driven to perform in response to an obsession or according to rules that must be applied rigidly. 2. The behaviors or mental acts are aimed at preventing or reducing anxiety or distress, or preventing some dreaded event or situation; however, these behaviors or mental acts are not connected in a realistic way with what they are designed to neutralize or prevent, or are clearly excessive."

    The obsessions or compulsions must be time-consuming - take more than one hour per day - or cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. [That is, I'm not thinking about Buffy while I'm doing my homework and making dinner; I'm not doing my homework or making dinner because I'm ONLY thinking about/researching/etc. Buffy. And I'm spending at least one hour/day ONLY thinking/researching/etc. about Buffy.]

    The obsessions/compulsions aren't caused by a substance, and aren't better explained by another mental disorder [Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Body Dysmorphic Disorder, etc.].

    So a person who feels obsessed about something, but is functioning normally (i.e., their relationships aren't suffering, they're not getting poor performance evals at work, their house is acceptably clean, etc. - vs. those things NOT happening because they are spending time addressing obsessions/compulsions INSTEAD of tending to those duties) doesn't have OCD. That person simply has obsessions or compulsions. The Disorder requires a clear and clinically significant impairment in functioning.

    (Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder is a different disorder, primarily hallmarked by a hyperfocus on perfectionism, morality, and control).

    Does that make sense?

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    1. Thank you for sharing this! Very informative. Now I have some answers.

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  8. Happy Belated Birthday friend! I think you are a rockstar for taking on a new hobby!

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    1. thanks Allison! too bad it's making my knees feel so sore.

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